Gaming for Fitness: The Wii Fit Test Drive
WE’VE ENLISTED A 60-SOMETHING GRANDMOTHER TO TEST DRIVE WII FIT, an addition to the intuitive gaming system. After her tech-savvy 14-year-old grandson hooks up the Wii Board to the Wii, she’s ready to go.
BY: VIVIAN VASSOS
Once the body and balance tests are done, and she’s set a goal to lower her BMI slightly and lose two pounds in two weeks, she moves on to the four categories of more than 40 activities: yoga, strength training, balance and aerobics. “It’s a convenient way to build fitness into daily routines,” says Nintendo’s Matt Ryan, who considers Wii Fit a complement to one’s fitness regime, not a replacement for other forms of exercise.
In the aerobics session, a blast from the past: the Hula Hoop. Having played this all through her childhood, Grandma racks up the high score and earns new activities to try. In the balance section, the soccer activity demands you move your upper body from side to side to “head” the ball as it’s being kicked at you, while avoiding other flying objects. “I’m really starting to feel it,” she says, massaging her mid-section, or “core,” which is a good sign.
“Strengthening the core means more endurance,” says professional yoga instructor Monica Cordes, 49, based in Markham, Ont. “Our energy is in our upper abdomen. When we tone these muscles, we’re activating the core. It’s like there’s a battery there and you’re energizing the battery, so you have more energy to carry out your activities.”